Gardening Starter Kit
8 mins read

Gardening Starter Kit

Cultivate your interest in gardening with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit will help your budding interest in gardening flourish. Attend new programs and view past recordings, or check out some library materials for a more in-depth understanding.

Upcoming Events

Join us for these exciting library programs to pique your interest in gardening!

Grow Fresh Air (All Ages)

Did you know that you can improve your indoor air quality just using plants? Join us for a fun, hands-on exploration of our favorites.

This program will be held at Haggard Library on Thursday, January 20 at 6:30pm. Come 30 minutes beforehand to pick up your free ticket.

Little Gardens, Big Results (Adult)

Grow your own food! Sustainable vegetable gardening in containers for your sunny balcony, patio or porch.

This program will be held virtually on Thursday, February 17 at 11am. Register through our online calendar or view the program recording starting a week later.


Beginner Gardening Step by Step: A Visual Guide to Yard and Garden Basics by Royal Horticultural Society: If you’re not sure of the first steps to take, this handbook takes the anxiety out of plotting and planting and equips you with all the know-how and confidence you need to get digging into your garden. Creating a garden that you can enjoy and keep looking beautiful all year is easier than you think! You’ll find simple step-by-step instructions, with clear images to help you create your dream garden, no matter the size and scale. | Print |

Easy Gardening for Texas by Joseph Masabni: When is full sun not full sun? When you’re trying to grow vegetables in Texas. Because a full day of sun here can stress all but the toughest plants. For the rest, full sun in Texas means 6 to 8 hours mostly in the morning, and shade in the afternoon. Gardening in Texas has unique challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can t grow vegetables here. You just need to know what kind, when, and where. | Print |

The New Organic Grower: A Master’s Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener by Eliot Coleman: Inspired by the European intensive growers, this book offers a very approachable and productive form of farming that has proven to work well for the earth and its stewards for centuries. Gardeners working on 2.5 acres or less will find this book especially useful, as it offers proof that small-scale market growers and serious home gardeners can live good lives close to the land and make a profit at the same time. | Print |

The New Gardener’s Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Grow a Beautiful & Bountiful Garden by Daryl Byers: From one of the experts at the New York Botanical Garden, this guide shares the science of good gardening in a design-forward, beginner-friendly way that will appeal to new gardeners everywhere. | Print |

A Beginner’s Guide to Succulent Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Beautiful & Long-Lasting Succulents by Taku Furuya: Adored for their charming shapes and colors, respected for their resilience and adaptability, and just plain fun to have around— succulents are the hottest home gardening trend today. This book contains all sorts of helpful tips on what to look for when buying a plant, how to troubleshoot when your succulent shows signs of distress, how to trim the leaves and stems, and how to start new plants from cuttings. Clear diagrams and at-a-glance fact sheets for each variety, as well as inspirational photos of attractively and happily-housed succulents, fill the pages of this book. | Print |


Let’s Get Gardening: Learn to grow your own vegetables and herbs, attract awesome wildlife such as butterflies and bees, and be a green gardener with lots of recycling tips. Whether you’ve got a big vegetable patch or just a windowsill, you can grow all sorts of plants. With step-by-step activities, this book helps children learn about conservation, recycling and sustainability in simple, practical, and hands-on ways. | Print |

Gardening Lab for Kids: Starting a Garden by Renata Fossen Brown: A refreshing source of ideas to help children learn to grow their own patch of earth, Gardening Lab for Kids encourages children to get outside and enjoy nature. This fun and creative book features 13 plant-related activities set into weekly lessons. Renata Fossen Brown guides your family through fun opportunities learning about botany, ecology, the seasons, food, patience, insects, eating, and cooking. | Print |

Secrets of the Vegetable Garden by Carron Brown: This book enables you to discover the hidden wonders of the vegetable garden, with this gorgeously illustrated book that reveals nature’s secrets. By simply holding the book up to the light, or shining a torch behind each page, young children will be able to discover the animals and plants that live in and around a vegetable patch, from the worms in the soil, to the birds in the treetops. | Print |

Grow It! by Mary Boone: Introduces early readers to environmentalist concepts including urban gardening; locally sourced food options, and the safety of pesticides, and what they can do to help the environment. Features real-life examples like the Houston East End Greenbelt, which have made a difference. | Print |

Super Simple Hanging Gardens: A Kid’s Guide to Gardening by Alex Kuskowski: Help kids get their own unique hanging garden! Kids will be able to make plants that swing above their head, grow upside-down plants, make a hanging basket and more. Super Simple Hanging Gardens will help them learn how. | Print |

Online Materials
The Great Courses via Kanopy

The Science of Gardening – When scientists examine home gardens and landscapes, one fact stands out: The leading cause of landscape failure is not disease and it’s not pests – it’s our own gardening practices. Create a beautiful and sustainable home garden guided by the newest information from applied plant physiology, biology, soils science, climatology, hydrology, chemistry, and ecology

How to Grow Anything – Gardening is one of life’s great pleasures. It offers bountiful wonders – flowers, grasses, fruits, vegetables, trees – that bring you closer to the natural world. And the best part: You can learn to create gardens and landscapes in almost any setting, from large rural backyards to tight urban spaces, and in almost any climate

Plant Science: Introduction to Botany – If you look around right now, chances are you’ll see a plant. It could be a succulent in a pot on your desk, grasses or shrubs just outside your door, or trees in a park across the way. Proximity to plants tends to make us happy, even if we don’t notice, offering unique pleasures and satisfactions. Open your eyes to the phenomenal and exciting world of botany

Plano Public Library Program Recordings

Get Ready to Spring into Gardening Workshop – Winter’s over and it’s time to do a spring spruce-up in the yard. Join City of Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division and Plano Public Library for our top tips on getting your landscape ready for the new season

Made in the Shade: Plants for North Texas Workshop – Is your shady landscape an oasis of cool – or a project that makes you lose your cool? Learn the secrets of creating a restful (and successful) retreat in the shelter of shade with City of Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division and Plano Public Library

Other Online Resources

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center – Search for reference materials and articles to create the perfect garden

Home Improvement Reference Center – Make your garden a DIY work of art as you build raised beds and other structures

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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